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Oversands School

Oversands School is an independent, specialist residential and day school in rural Cumbria, providing high quality education for boys and girls aged between 10-19.  The school meets the needs of a diverse group of pupils with a range of behaviour, emotional and social special needs. 

 ADHD, ASC, Asp, BESD, PDA

Who to contact

Contact Name
Robin Adams
Telephone
E-mail
oversands@witherslackgroup.co.uk
Website
www.witherslackgroup.co.uk/.../oversands-school

Where to go

Name
Oversands School
Address
Witherslack
Grange Over Sands
Cumbria
Postcode
LA11 6SD

Local Offer

Description

1.How will the school /college know if I need extra help?

When you join Oversands we want to make sure that you find it as easy as possible to quickly settle in to the school life.  To help with this school staff will spend time getting to know you and finding out about what we can do to help, we will even come and visit you at home.  We will speak to you, your parents and anyone else who knows you well, to find out what you might find difficult and what you might need extra help with.  

During your first few weeks at the school we will work with you to establish how best we can help you and what we can put in place to assist you in class.  We will work hard to help you in all of your lessons and to make sure all of the teaching and support staff know if you need extra help with anything.  All of our classes are small (the biggest has eight pupils), with at least one teacher and one teaching assistant.  We have lots of staff in the school who are available to help you and they will spend time talking with you to find out what you like and what you find difficult.  We want you to enjoy coming to school and so will make sure we do all that we can to make this happen. 

2. What should I do if I think I need extra help?

When you start at Oversands you will be given a key worker.  This is a person who is there to help you with any aspect of school life.  They are there to help and support you, so if you need anything or feel like you could do with extra help in certain areas you should just let them know.  However, you can speak to any member of staff about any help you may need too.  We are all here to help you.

As well as being able to speak to them at any time, you will have a special weekly catch-up with your key worker.  This is a chance to talk about anything that is worrying you or you are finding difficult.  It is also a chance to talk about things that you have enjoyed or done well.  All staff will really enjoy sharing good news with you and celebrating when you do well or overcome a challenge. 

3. If I have difficulty taking part in school/college activities what different arrangements can be made for me?

Your time at Oversands will certainly not be boring as we have a vast range of activities for you to take part in.  We work hard to make sure that everyone can enjoy the activities and we always consider what support each pupil will need to help them to take part.

From day one at our school, you will be treated as an individual.  We will get to know you and know what type of things you will enjoy and what support and help you may need.  This means that we can make changes to things for you, if necessary. 

When you start at the school we will focus on helping you with your behaviour for learning so that you can enjoy your time in class and make progress as quickly as possible.   We understand that you may be nervous or worried about starting, but we have lots of ways that we can help you settle into school and start enjoying school life.

We want to make learning fun and exciting.  You will be able to use a range of the I.T and other learning resources that not only make learning more interactive, but can help you with many different aspects of your work too, for example, using tablets/computers for writing if you find this difficult.  

4. How will I participate in planning my targets?

From your first day you start at Oversands we will place great importance on your thoughts, feelings and views.  The teaching staff will talk to you about what your individual targets should be and ask what you think you need to work on to improve.  We want you to achieve your very best and will work with you to make this happen.

We will use the information we have gathered about what you can do well, areas you need to improve in, and things we know you like and dislike, to help set targets that are realistic but also challenging.  If you find lessons too easy you will get bored, so your targets will be set so that with the right attitude, hard work and staff support you will achieve great results.

When you reach your targets, or do even better, we will not only congratulate you but we will celebrate with you.  It will be a great feeling when you do well and you can enjoy the reward of your hard work and effort. 

5. How does the school/college know how well I’m doing?

Every day at school we will always be talking with you and letting you know how you are doing.  In every lesson the teachers will mark your work so you can see what you have done well and areas you need to work on improving.  They will also carry out assessments to see what level you are at in each subject and help you to understand the next steps.  We always focus on the positives, so you never need to worry if you get something wrong because we will already be planning how we can help you to improve. 

There will always be at least one teacher and one teaching assistant in your class and lots of other staff available to help you, so if you find that you are struggling with anything you will have someone who can talk with you and help you straightaway.  Our school is one team who are all working together to help you enjoy your time at school and do well. 

6. Who will help me to be more independent in school?

All of the staff at Oversands is there to help and support you to become independent in lots of different ways.   We want you to gain confidence in your own ability and during your time at school you will develop your skills and talents.  Eventually you will be able to do things on your own that before you may have not thought possible, this will give you a great sense of independence and more confidence. 

Teachers, teaching assistants and pastoral staff will help you to complete your work independently, as much as you are able.  They will also help you develop more independence and confidence with routines and day to day tasks.  They will be there if you need them but will work with you so over time you are able to do more and more.

You will have the opportunity to take part in visits off-site that will also help you to become more independent and you will also be  given responsibility for different duties and roles within the school.  You may even be able to help other pupils to develop their independence by sharing your experiences and skills. 

7. Who will help me to be more independent in my community?

During your time at Oversands we will work with you to be able to do more and more outside of school.   Part of growing up is learning about how to be able to look after yourself and be able to take responsibility for more things.  We will help you in many areas to become more independent and this might include visits to the supermarket, a local café, a trip on a train or a bus journey.

We will always be there to help and support, but you will quickly start to enjoy being able to do more things for yourself. 

8. How will my parents/carers be supported to encourage me to be more independent?

At Oversands we understand how important it is to not only work with you but also your parents and family.  We all want to help you to do well at school and become more independent and confident in life. 

We will always be talking to your parents and keeping them up-to-date on how you are doing at school.  We will share with them the good news so that they can celebrate with you as you develop and succeed.

We will let your parents know how we are helping you become more independent in school and suggest activities that can be done at home with you to encourage you to develop independence there.  We will give you a home/school diary which we will fill in each day so that you can take it home and show your parents the progress you are making.  We will also  ring your parents as well to talk about how you are doing and make sure we are all working together to help and support you. 

9. Who should I speak to if I’m worried about something?

We never want you to worry about anything on your own while you are at Oversands.  If you have any worry, no matter how big or small, it is always best to speak to someone about it.  There are posters on the walls throughout school with photographs of members of staff who you can talk to if you’re worried about anything. However, you can speak to any member of staff who you feel comfortable with about your worries. 

You will be often be surprised when you share a worry with us, because a lot of the time your worry will be something that we have experienced before and we will be able to help you and make sure you can get back to being happy and enjoying school life quickly. 

10. How do school/college staff get extra help from other experts?

At Oversands we believe in doing everything we can to help support you and ensure that you are able to achieve your very best.  We have a team of therapists who can give you extra help and support in lots of ways.  We have a  Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist and an Educational Psychologist who will work with you to not only help you improve your learning but with other areas, such as understanding your emotions, managing your behaviour and helping with your communication.  They will meet with you when you join the school and then continue to work with you to make sure you are getting as much support as you need. 

If there are other ways in which we can help you we can arrange for other types of support to be provided to you.  You will be an important part of the school and so we will always go that extra mile to help you reach your goals. 

11. What help is there to get me ready to start college?

When the times comes for you to leave Oversands we will work with you to develop a plan to help make sure your move to your college placement goes as easily as possible for you.  We will talk to you, your family and other professionals who know you well to decide on the best option for you.  It is a big step and an important one, so we will be there to make sure that you are well supported and can look forward with excitement to your first day of college.

We will work closely with your new college and can arrange visits so that you can get used to the new environment and staff before you start.  We will always be talking with you and if you have any worries or questions we will be there to answer them and make sure that on your first day you know what to expect.

When you have left Oversands we still want to keep in touch with you and hear how your college studies are going.  We are always thrilled to hear about how our ex-pupils are doing and are so proud to learn of their achievements and successes. 

12.What help is there to get me ready to start work?

Throughout your time at our school we will start to talk to you about the types of jobs and careers you would like to find out more about.  You will be able to take part in special classes about career education, which will help you to decide on the type of jobs you may enjoy, what skills you will need and also how you go about applying for these type of jobs.  It is an exciting time when you are thinking about what you will do once you leave school and what type of career you may want to go into. 

We will arrange a meeting with career advisers and organise for you to do some work experience in the area that you are interested in.  This will help with allowing you to get more of an understanding about what different jobs are like and what skills and qualifications you may need.

The skills and knowledge that you will have gained while you have been at Oversands will all be important as you take your first steps into your chosen career.  We will do everything we can to help you during the change from being at school to starting on your chosen career path.  We will talk regularly with you, your parents and even your potential new employers to ensure that everything goes smoothly.  It will be a proud day for everyone, especially for you, when you start your first job and we will want to hear about how you grow and develop into your new role. 

The following questions have been developed by and may be of particular interest to parents and carers

1.How will I be involved in discussions about and planning for my child’s education?

From the very first contact you have with us, your opinions and input into your child’s education will be welcomed and highly valued.    We aim to always have strong relationships and high standards of communication with our parents.  When you are first thinking of your child coming to our school you will be invited to visit Oversands to look around and meet both staff and other children.  In consultation with the Head Teacher, you will know whether you feel the provision is suitable for your child.

We want you to be fully involved with your child’s education and we  value your thoughts and opinions.  You are welcome to contact the school main office at any time; we have an open door policy at Oversands School and we want you to feel comfortable in asking questions and letting us know of any concerns or issues you may have.  You can speak with a range of staff including your child’s keyworker, form tutors or a member of our senior leadership team.

On a daily basis you will have a brief summary of your child’s day in their home/school diary.  You will have a weekly phone call from our pastoral team giving you an update on your child’s behavioural, emotional and social progress and a half term phone call from your child’s learning mentor to discuss their academic progress.

Your child’s progress and outcomes are shared with you via a wide and regular level of contact.  Your child’s key worker will contact you fortnightly as a minimum, but in reality much more frequently if and when needed.  You will be invited to annual reviews and six monthly reviews.  Progress reports are also sent out to parents and carers at the end of every term highlighting your child’s progress against annual targets.  

2.How will school/college staff support my child?

At Oversands School we have a dedicated student support team who work closely with parents and carers to ensure everyone knows how well our pupils are doing and are able to offer support and guidance when required. 

We arrange a Post-Admission Review to take place within 12 weeks after starting to discuss progress and how well new pupils have settled in to school.  When young people start at Oversands, it is possible that they may be feeling anxious or nervous about their new school, and that they may become frustrated or emotional at times during their first few days or weeks.  There is excellent pastoral support offered to young people who may be struggling to express their anxieties or emotions, in the form of our Pastoral Care Team, who are based outside of the classroom and are dedicated to ensuring that our young people feel safe, settled, calm and ready to learn.

Throughout this process, we would communicate with you and your child, so that you know exactly what is going on and what support we will be putting in place to allow your child to settle into school life.  This initial induction period would also include a range of diagnostic assessments completed by specialist staff, including specific learning difficulties, educational psychology, speech and language, mental health and dyslexia. 

We will develop a clear picture of your child’s needs and ensure we really understand what you and your child want to achieve.  At the same time we would be getting to know your child and finding out what they are interested in and what they enjoy.  We want their learning to be fun and for them to be happy in their time at school.

At Oversands we really enjoy being part of your child’s development and seeing them thrive and succeed.   To ensure that we realise the best possible outcomes for your child, and for all our pupils, we have a robust and comprehensive review process in place.  Several data sets are used to evaluate our effectiveness including reports from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Educational Psychologists. We also analyse our GSCE’s and progress data against baseline assessments, outcomes against predicted grades, attendance and destination data.

Everyone at our school is thrilled when our pupils succeed and achieve their goals.  As a parent we want you to be able to celebrate and enjoy as your child develops and works towards qualifications, vocational skills and ultimately their chosen career. 

3.How will school work be changed to match my child’s needs?

We work hard to help all our young people in their lessons and would make sure all teaching and support staff know the full picture of need for your child.  We pride ourselves in really knowing each of our young people and this is what helps us to help them achieve and succeed.   All our classes are small (maximum eight pupils), with at least one teacher and one teaching assistant.   Additionally there are several pastoral support staff available throughout the school day should any young people need additional support outside the classroom.  There are also opportunities to be taught in smaller groups, or even individually, if the need is identified.

Teachers, teaching assistants and pastoral staff help our young people to complete their work independently as much as possible.  This is also the case with routines and daily activities.  We will  work closely with you to promote independent learning outside of school by providing work and other suggested activities that could be done at home.  

Your child will be allocated a keyworker which is likely to be their class Support Assistant.  Every week they will speak to you to report on your child’s progress and you can contact them if you need to speak to them at any other time.

We offer a full National Curriculum and will work with you and your child to maximise their ability and potential, which may include studying towards GCSE’S or other similar qualifications.  We not only personalise the curriculum for every individual child, but we appreciate that every young person’s specific needs should be considered when it comes to the time of them sitting exams and assessments.  This information on their individual needs, alongside a full description of each young person’s ‘usual mode of working’, is used to make formal applications for special considerations during examinations.  These adjustments i.e. extra time, reader or scribes, are applied to examinations as well as everyday working in lessons.

We also make use of the latest assistive technology and IT resources as part of day-to-day school life.  These are available to support the needs of our young people in lessons and examinations, if appropriate assessment of need demands.

In addition to the National Curriculum, we also offer vocational studies, where pupils can study a number of practical disciplines, including construction and motor vehicle skills, and obtain a range of vocational qualifications that will lead them on to college and beyond.

We offer a 24 hour curriculum for our residential pupils who stay with us on a termly basis.  Our residential staff are trained by our team of therapists and can help with homework or any difficulties your child might have in school, as well as helping your child to develop their independence skills. 

4.What support will there be for my child’s emotional health and well-being?

We take our responsibility for your child’s health and wellbeing very seriously.   Our staff receive training on the safe keeping and administration of medicine and all medicine is stored in a double locked cupboard, to ensure that it is kept safe.  Detailed records are kept of all medicines received in school and when they are administered to any pupils.

All pupil care plans are developed in partnership with parents and the tutor team in order to ensure that all staff are aware of each pupil’s need. Regular tutor team meetings and staff meetings ensure that the relevant staff have access to this important information.

We take any form of bullying very seriously at Oversands and ensure that any incidence of bullying, however slight, is dealt with quickly.  The anti-bullying policy is accessible on our website or by contacting the school, along with other policies concerned with keeping our young people safe, such as Health & Safety, Safeguarding, Team Teach and Complaints. 

5.What specialist services and expertise are available to the school/college?

Staff at Oversands have a wealth of experience and knowledge in working with children with a range of diagnoses including Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, and social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.    All of our staff must meet enhanced standards of qualifications, experience and have current registration with the appropriate professional body.

We have a Speech and Language Therapist who delivers individual and/or group therapy to pupils who are assessed as needing such intervention.  We also have an Occupational Therapist who will see each pupil when they start at the school and puts in place a Sensory Diet.  Our Educational Psychologist sees pupils when they start and provides support and advice to teaching staff regarding pupils’ needs.  We can also make referrals, with your consent, to external agencies where necessary, such as CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service).

As the school is part of the Witherslack Group, we are able to operate a direct delivery model of therapy offering universal services targeted to the needs of individual young people.  Under the leadership of Dr. Madeleine Portwood, Clinical Director, our unique ‘offering’ provides, both holistic and individualised person-centered therapeutic interventions. When appropriate, an assessment of mental health and emotional well-being is completed within two weeks to ensure that identified needs are targeted. This baseline data enables us to measure and provide evidence of progress leading to positive outcomes for each child.

Across the Group, our high-quality multi-disciplinary provision covers all aspects of education, health and care.  We have a clinical team of highly-specialised practitioners directly employed by the Witherslack Group who can work to help and support our pupils. These include Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, Educational and Clinical Psychologists, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Practitioners, Psychotherapists, Play, Art and Music Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational/ Physiotherapists

We are a Dyslexia Friendly School, providing the necessary resources for young people who require support in this area.  We hold Autism Accreditation with the National Autistic Society and are also a member of the National Association of Special Schools, who provide up to date information relating to any legislative changes in SEN. 

6.What training do staff have who support children with special educational needs and disabilities?

All our staff receive training to meet the needs of the young people at any given time.  The Witherslack Group provide a comprehensive induction programme for all new staff, which includes specific training tailored to support their role.  All teaching and support staff receive induction and refresher training in a range of areas including Autistic Spectrum Disorders, behaviour management and de-escalation techniques (Team Teach).  Additional training is provided to staff, in areas including curriculum development, child development and special educational needs, such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, ASD, ADHD, attachment disorder.  We understand that to do our best for your child, our staff must be developing and producing high standards of work and support at all times. 

All staff in school have a recognised First Aid qualification with a number of staff also holding ‘The First Aid at Work’ qualification.  Where there to be a medical emergency, staff follow protocols which includes appropriate first response and alerting the emergency services, if necessary. Parents or carers will then immediately be informed by school staff.

At the point of referral to Oversands School we ensure that we have the appropriately qualified and experienced staff to meet your child’s needs, with all training regularly updated and accredited where appropriate.  We also have a school nurse and we have therapy and counselling service on-site as part of our staff team, which means that we have access to Speech and Language Therapy alongside Person Centred Counselling, therapeutic support and Educational Psychology.  They all work across our tutor teams and with each individual child. 

7.How will my child be included in activities outside the classroom including school trips?

Oversands has provision for both day and residential young people and as such we offer a wide range of after school activities, which are available to all our young people.  We run annual camps and sailing activities across weekends and holiday periods.  We have regular Duke of Edinburgh overnight excursions and overnight fishing activities. 

We have a breakfast club where your child will be able to settle into school prior to the school day beginning.  There is a full range of activities offered to all young people during lunch and break times.  There is a register of activities and staff support all the young people during these times.  We will also encourage your child to access a wide range of activities so that they can broaden their interests and develop new skills and find new talents.

We also have a variety of enrichment activities that are part of the curriculum on Wednesday and Friday afternoons, including bird watching, fishing, swimming, horse riding, walking, mountain biking, football, archery and computing.  The school also arranges visits to local agricultural shows, cinema and theatre trips, and outdoor adventure activities.

All activities are accessible to all young people and are completely funded by the school.  We always ensure that every young person is assessed for their suitability and risk for each activity, but we encourage and support all our young people to strive towards completing whichever activity they choose to try.

External teaching and learning opportunities take several forms.  We have a post sixteen provision where our student’s curriculum can be enhanced through accessing local college courses.  We also run a programme of extension studies every week where our young people can work towards accredited qualifications off site i.e. lifeguarding, environmental field studies and horse riding.  All ‘off site’ provision are fully risk assessed prior to any young people attending.  Once the programme has been fully tested support may be reduced to encourage independence, however regular contact is maintained. 

We ensure all children stay safe during outdoor activities, whether these are on the school grounds or off-site, by completing site specific risk assessments.  These risk assessments are informed by making prior visits to venues and venue guidelines.  Alongside preparing individual support plans and young person risk assessments, we make sure that all activities are staffed with high staff to young people ratios and that the chosen staff are skilled and experienced in the relevant activity.  The quality and accuracy of our risk assessments are regularly checked through our Health & Safety Audits and inspection visits.

A personalised risk assessment will be developed for your child prior to them starting and will be continually reviewed and updated.  A young person’s risk assessment and their My Support Plans are updated regularly as need arises and are reviewed by their keyworker, form tutor and the Senior Leadership Team.  

We work hard to ensure that the school environment is as safe as possible, with risk being minimised.  Designated areas for parking and handovers are clearly identified in specific areas of the school grounds.  These handovers are managed by our Pastoral Care Team.   Information sharing takes place between school and home at both ends of the school day to ensure that we have a really strong knowledge about how your child is feeling and how we can best support them. 

8. How physically accessible is the school/college?

Oversands is set in a unique and stunning rural location, which is accessible to all visitors, pupils and staff.  All curriculum areas are accessible for wheelchairs with designated parking and toilets for wheelchair users also provided. 

We will discuss you and your child’s access requirements at our initial consultation, where we will identify specific needs and make arrangements on how these can be met.  We want to ensure that on your first visit to the school you can solely concentrate on meeting the staff and seeing what Witherslack Hall has to offer.  We will do all that we can to make extra arrangements for you and your child to ensure that you can look forward to your first visit.

We consider the sensory needs of our young people and so throughout our school wall displays are minimal and not present on the teaching wall.  Our classrooms are also clutter free and private study areas are provided.   We try and cater the way we display and share information and understand that for many people it is best to use images and symbols, as well as text.  Pictorial timetables are available for any young person and pictorial feedback/marking symbols are used to communicate information in young person’s books.  Displays around school also make good use of pictorial communication. 

9. When my child starts school/college what kinds of support will there be?

From even before your child starts at our school we will be working hard to ensure that they are not only looking forward to joining Oversands, but they can also start learning and developing from day one.  Prior to them starting an initial assessment will identify their specific Special Educational Needs.  We would learn more about these needs and your child in general during their first weeks at the school, when a baseline assessment across all subject areas would take place.

When starting at our school, young people and their parents or carers are invited to Oversandsl to look around and meet the staff and other children. There may be more than one visit if a young person is particularly anxious about joining us.  Sometimes, young people come for several short visits prior to starting full time, particularly if they have been out of school for an extended period of time prior to coming to Oversandsl.  We can even arrange to come and visit you and your child at home so they can get to know us and we can talk about any concerns or worries you may have in an environment that is familiar and relaxing.

When your child is starting with us they, along with yourself, will meet key staff on admission visits and you will be given a parental booklet prior to your child’s first day.   You will also be able to access helpful information that is available on our website and our termly newsletters. 

Your child will be given a handbook when they start to help them learn about the routine of the school including timings for the day, lesson information and reward systems.  We can adapt this to the needs of your child and will always make whatever arrangements necessary to cater for the individual needs of each of our young people. 

10. When my child leaves school/college what kinds of support will there be to prepare them for  their next school/college placement?

We support young people who are moving on to new school settings by providing transition opportunities in their new settings, including open days or taster days.  The level of transition is always dependant on the young person’s individual needs and how much support is required for their move to be successful.  All relevant information is shared with any new establishment to ensure a successful transition. 

There are several work experience opportunities available to our young people depending on their need and ability.  We have links with local farms and wildlife sanctuaries, riding stables, hotels and motor vehicle garages.  There are also opportunities to experience the world of work on-site alongside our maintenance and kitchen staff.

The twenty four hour curriculum offered at Oversands provides an opportunity for young people to develop within school and gradually work towards full independence.  Our young people have the opportunity to have reduced support with cooking, shopping and traveling as they progress through the school.  Our Preparation for Working Life programme also covers many areas of life skills.  Many social and emotional areas are explored via our BEST (behavioural, emotional, social and therapeutic) curriculum which also supports transition into adulthood.

As mentioned above the Preparation for Working Life programme enables us to educate our young people about many life events and situations.  They receive independent and in-house Careers Education Guidance relating to further and higher education, employment and independent living.

The school is presently working with The Brathay Trust on the New Beginning Project aimed at supporting the young person’s transition from care.

As your child nears the time to leave the school, we will work closely with them, their home support team and yourself to develop a transition plan.  We support young people when attending open days and visits to local colleges and help with job application forms and interview preparation.  We also utilise the help of INSPIRA to support transition into local college and also provide independent Careers Education Guidance to all our young peoples across Key Stage 4. 

11.How are the school’s resources allocated and matched to my child’s special educational needs?

All pupils have targets set in each subject.  You will receive a report at the end of each term showing the progress made by your child and the targets set for the following term; and the support plans and resources that will be put in place to help them achieve these. 

Once a year your child’s Educational, Health and Care (EHC) plan, and their personal targets within it, will be reviewed. Your child will take a leading role in preparing for meetings to review targets and progress. They will be encouraged to attend and lead the meeting, with support if required, or alternatively they can prepare a presentation or report in the medium of their choice.  You will receive a full school report prior to the meeting so that you too can prepare.  These reviews will determine the changing needs of your child and what we can do to support them and help them to continue to develop. 

We will always assess your child’s needs and development, so we can ensure that we are providing the best possible support and also challenging your child in their studies so they can work towards realising their full potential.  

12.How is the decision made about how much support my child receives?

As the school is already well equipped to cater for providing high levels of staff support and supervision with the small classes, the majority of pupils’ needs are met through the delivery of a highly differentiated, individualised curriculum. Any additional support, in the form of 1:1 intervention programmes for literacy, numeracy, dyslexia, speech and language will be decided upon through the regular and thorough assessments made.

The Teachers, Teaching Assistants, Pastoral Care staff, Senior Leadership Team, and SEN Co-ordinator will all ensure that your child’s needs are reviewed regularly and are being met.  The targets in their Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be also regularly reviewed so that the level of support your child receives will be appropriate to their specific level of need.

All children have a ‘My Support Plan’ which they contribute towards; this identifies the level of pastoral support they might require and in what circumstances.  Any pupil who exhibits social, emotional, psychological or behavioural difficulties is provided with support, where necessary, from the teaching and support staff and from our Pastoral Care Team, who are based outside of the classroom and are dedicated to ensuring that our pupils feel safe, settled, calm and ready to learn. 

13.In what ways are parents involved in the school?

You will be invited to our annual Open Day and Awards Event in May, which is a fabulous occasion when all the school community comes together to celebrate the achievements and talents of our pupils.  We hope you will be able to join us and the many other proud parents.

Oversands School encourages any feedback from parents, whether it is about something you are really pleased with or if there is something that you feel we could have done better.  You can share your views through the parent questionnaire or at your child’s reviews.  There are also opportunities at parent’s evenings, open days or during key-worker contact to share your thoughts.  We have a complaints procedure that will be made clear to you when your child joins the school and will be available for you to read if ever you feel it is required.

Our Pastoral Care Manager can work with you to access further help and support.  We will communicate with you regularly so we are aware of the help you need and find out how to obtain it.  It might be help to improve your child’s health, independence, college options or activities outside school.  Our Pastoral Care Manager also deals with the transport department to arrange taxis and ensure your child is comfortable and safe on their journey to and from school.  We can even arrange transport for you and your family when you are visiting the school or attending your child’s review.

We offer many different types of practical help and resources for you to support your child outside of school.  You will have access to a wide range of practical advice and support resources and will also be invited to attend parent events and advice workshops.  These focus on giving practical and helpful advice and tips on a variety of relevant issues, including behaviour, travelling, sleep problems and narrow diets.

We like to share regular updates and news on our web site and our social media page.  This gives everyone the opportunity to see what is happening at the school and also celebrate the good news and positive activities that take place in the school on a daily basis.  We also feature the projects and initiatives that our pupils and staff take part in with charities and the local community as a whole.  This is something that we are very proud of.

When you are planning for your child’s future including college options our Transitions Officer can provide guidance and support, arranging things like college visits or further work experience.   We also utilise support from INSPIRA, a national social enterprise company based in Cumbria, who help us plan our young people’s transition into college or employment.  Other advice and guidance is always available from school staff and other professionals during review meetings.

We understand the importance of confidentiality and operate to the highest standards possible to ensure that we communicate with you in an appropriate, considerate and confidential manner around all aspects of your child’s education and care. 

14. Who can I contact for further information?

If you require more information about our school please go to our school website: http://www.witherslackgroup.co.uk/witherslack-hall

 If you would like to talk to a member of staff about your child please contact the school Robin Adams, Head Teacher, on 015395 52397 or alternatively, you can e-mail the school at oversands@witherslackgroup.co.uk

Links
SEND Information Report
Local Offer Age Bands
Secondary (11 to 16)
Needs Level
High
Low
Medium
SEN Provision Type
Specialist
Targeted